Good grief it is soooo wickedly hot all I want is cold food that doesn’t require my oven to be turned on. What is the deal with this heat? 111 degrees today and it’s a struggle to do anything except be underwater in the pool!

For years I’ve been after Molly for this recipe! It goes without saying here that any barbecue or get together at my house goes with an unspoken request for this salad. The flavors are so perfectly balanced, the textures so crisp and fresh, that I’m still surprised by the simplicity of the recipe. It really is a quick, non-lettuce salad to bring anywhere as a respectable contribution to any meal. Now I have the recipe immortalized here and can never lose it again. Whew!

Here’s a bunch of pretty food and beautiful Molly images to get you in the recipe mood. Thanks Molly!!

Grilled corn cob in the husk

Woman's hand cutting grilled corn from the cob

Hands tossing summer Corn Salad with tomatoes and avocado

hands squeezing lemon into summer Corn Salad with tomatoes and avocado

  • 4 Ears of Corn
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 container of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
~ To grill the corn, heat grill on low and place the corn directly on the grill with the husks on. Turn occasionally.  After about ten minutes, remove husks and char 1-2 minutes each side. Let cool.
*** If you do not grill the corn, slice it off the cob first and sauté in EVOO until cooked through. Let stand to cool. If you sauté the corn, no need to add more olive oil when dressing the whole salad.
~ While the corn is cooling, dice the red onion, halve or quarter the tomatoes depending on size. Chop the avocado and mozzarella into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
~ Once the corn has cooled to the touch break each ear in half to slice off the kernels. Toss the corn with the other ingredients and lightly drizzle EVOO and Balsamic vinegar.
**Variation: Use lime instead of lemon and add some fresh cilantro. Yum!
Summer Corn Salad with tomatoes and avocado

It’s been chilly and even rainy here (whose climate am I in ?!?!?!?). Living in a sunny warm climate means that you start to covet dreary days as a time to hibernate a bit and eat indulgent winter foods. There’s something about perpetual sunshine that creates pressure to be effective, if I’m not doing something I feel guilty for wasting a beautiful day. So those few rainy days become a special time to revel in laziness! This dish is a celebration of the rainy day. It’s sort of  bread and pudding hybrid that is a bit dense but also fluffy, sweet yet still savory, and a great recipe to make and bring to a dinner party. I brought it to Thanksgiving and it got rave reviews. Oh and did I mentioned it’s so simple and easy it’s almost stupid. I mean, dump, blend and bake…stupid easy.


all rights reserved Crystal Cartier copyright 2013

  • 2 pounds frozen corn kernels (about 6 cups) with 2 cups reserved whole, thawed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (though I think 2% would still work well)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 5 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness of corn you may need less or none at all)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

~ Throw all but 2 cups of kernels into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

~ Stir in reserved corn kernels, pour into large casserole dish or individual ramekins.

~ Bake at 350 for about 1 hour for a casserole and 45 minutes – 1 hour for ramekins. Pudding is done when center is just set and toothpick comes out clean.

~ Let sit for 10 minutes after removing from oven.

I’m heading full throttle into summer this year. I’ve got my nails painted neon strutting through the farmers’ market to snag me some sweet, sweet corn. Life is gooooood. Today we’re putting that fresh corn to good use in a simple, crisp shrimp salad. It’s practically a one pot dish, can’t beat that! The bright, vibrant hues of this dish are an indicator of energetic foods that will give us a “power up”, especially in the heat of summer, and it’s not too bad to look at either. Hey, eating delicious food and drinking beers in the sun is tough work;)

This recipe is easy to boot! It’s a fresh and delicious weeknight meal to throw together anytime for maximum yum factor with minimal time and dishes. I hate hate hate dishes…

all rights reserved Crystal Cartier copyright 2013

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • fresh kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons smashed garlic
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • large handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • juice of 1 small lemon, freshly squeezed

~ Combine shrimp, corn, scallions, garlic, salt, pepper and Srirachi and half of the basil in a large bowl and toss to coat.

~ Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add diced bacon and fry until desired done-ness. I like it extra crispy so I cook until very crisp then remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel lined plate. Leave oil/bacon fat in skillet.

~ Immediately add the shrimp mixture to the hot skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat and toss in the tomatoes and crispy bacon.

~ Divide mixture between 4 bowls and top with lemon juice, avocado and remaining basil.


all rights reserved Crystal Cartier copyright 2013

food photographer, food photography, los angeles, crystal cartier

We’re grilling masters these days taking full advantage of outside cooking 1) because it’s soooo good and 2) because the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven and heat up the house in this weather! After all, grilled corn is greater than boiled corn any day! This recipe is dubbed “dirty” because it looks like it fell on the ground and we just picked it up and threw it back on the coals. PS- we didn’t do that;) The dirtiness comes from herbs, salts, and char from grilling inside the husk. Delish! You cook the corn in husk for half of the time then pull back the husk, butter the cob and sprinkle generously with herbs and salt (and paprika if you like!) to make that corn fantastically filthy!

Get some friends together, start up the grill and get messy!

all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

  • corn on the cob in husk
  • butter (or olive oil)
  • sea salt – medium coarseness
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • black pepper
  • paprika (optional)

~ Soak full ears in husk under water in the sink for 15 minutes. This helps steam the kernels a bit and, I think, prevents the husks from catching fire.

~ Place cobs in husk on heated grill. Cook for 5 minutes or so on each side, turning once.

~ Peel back husk, wipe off any silks, brush with butter and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram and paprika (optional).

~ Place the cob with husks peeled directly on the grill and let cook for a few minutes on both sides until some kernels start to brown and caramelize a bit.

ENJOY the dirtiest corn on the block!!

all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

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